Quetta: Issue of early age marriages was discussed in a consultative seminar held in a local hotel of Quetta, on Thursday.
Seminar on issues of early age marriages was held under the auspices of Society for Empowering Human Resource (SEHER).
Seminar was attended by people from government sector, development sector, media, civil society and religious clerics.
Behram Lehri, Manager of SEHER facilitated the event and explained the objectives of the seminar.
Sultan Tareen, Manager Training of SEHER delivered a presentation on the issue of early age marriages in Pakistan. He revealed that 21 percent girls in Pakistan are married under the age of 21.
Mr. Tareen claimed that reports of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) from all over Balochistan prove the negative effects of early age marriages on girls.
21 percent girls in Pakistan are married under the age of 21
He told the participants that Child Marriage restraint Act of 1929 is used to regulate early age marriage in Pakistan.
Justice (Retired) Mehta Kailash Nath Kohli, Chairman of Balochistan Public Service Commission (BPSC) said that “minimum age for getting CNIC, passport and voting is 18 years but minimum age for marriage of girls is 16, which is unconstitutional.
Mr. Kohli who had drafted the Prohibit Solemnization of Child Marriages Bill, argued that a mature girl can be a better mother and wife and raise her family in a better way.
Mr. Muhammad Haroon Dawood, Director of Aurat Foundation, said that minimum age of marriage for girls should be considered from both medical and psychological standpoint. He requested participants to support this bill and pressurize the Parliamentarians to promulgate this law from Balochistan Assembly as soon as possible.
Dr. Atta ur Rehman, a religious scholar, said that human rights allow a girl to get married at a young age. He proposed that detailed consultation should be conducted with Ulemas on the issue of early age marriages.
Molana Anwaar ul Haq Haqqani, a renowned religious scholar, said that Islam does not demand that girls should always be married at an early age. He lamented that different tribal customs are adopted by people in the name of Islam which is not fair.
Senator (Retired) Roshan Khursheed Barocha said that a law is enforced in Pakistan which prohibits marriage of girls below age of 16 but there is no implementation of that law. She urged that existing law should be amended to increase the minimum age of marriage of girls to 18 years.
Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa, a gynecologist with experience of over 25 years and member of international societies, explained the medical perspective of early age marriage.
She said, “According to Medical Science minimum age of girl at time of marriage must not be below 18 years.”
Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) in Balochistan has increased from 780 to over 800 per 100,000 live births
She revealed that early age marriage is one of the major causes of Obstetric fistula among women.
She claimed that Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) in Balochistan has increased from 780 to over 800 per 100,000 live births.
Shahzada Zulfiqar, President of Quetta Press Club said that Political parties should be taken on board to spread the awareness against early age marriages all over the province.
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